Using the Zoom Chat Box to Communicate

Challenge – A few months into the online model, lower level learners were introduced to the Zoom chat box wherein they could type their answers in lieu of the Whatsapp photos. The main challenge here was the unfamiliarity with the English keyboard, which meant they spent more time searching for the letters and struggled a little with typing the words.  However, with the help of translation in L1 and a visual representation, most learners were able to use this functionality with ease.

Tools Used – Zoom

Activity Outline

In this example the learners were given the challenge to dictate / scribe two movie reviews to their partner in a breakout room, and to submit a photo of it on WhatsApp on completion.


1 – At the start of the previous classes, instruct learners to type in their names or simple words like ‘hello’ in the Zoom chat box. The teacher can also experiment with more compelx tasks such as typing in the date in the format dd/mm/yyyy.

2 – After a few lessons of this, the teacher can try other things like typing in simple sentences like, ‘hi, how are you?’ etc.

3 – Eventually you will be able to instruct learners to respond to questions for whole activites exclusively via the chatbox.

NB – The above steps could all be accomplished in the space of one lesson with tech-savvy or higer level students. However, it is best to take your time with lower-level learners.

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